Celebrating the Year’s End

We’ve managed two “unit celebrations” this year, one at mid-year and one now at the end of the year. I may never be able to manage more than two in a year, but it’s definitely been worth the effort.

I’d intended to have the party nearly 2 weeks ago, but things didn’t turn out as planned and our party got postponed indefinitely. So, rather on the spur of the moment, I figured it was now or never; and we declared it party-day.

Tapestry of Grace unit celebration

The kids have had their projects done for awhile, waiting for me to declare the day. And we’ve been reviewing our flashcards each morning with a new app I’ve tried out and really like (flashcards+).

We served up chocolate chip cookie-cake and popcorn. I let the kids have free rein with the icing.

End of the Year Celebration

Then, we set up our display and the kids gave their presentations.

Middlest is sharing about Roman clothes with her paper dolls and diorama.
Middlest shared about Roman clothes with her paper dolls and diorama.


Oldest gave a dramatic retelling of the Punic Wars.
Oldest gave a dramatic retelling of the Punic Wars.

We watched a short video “yearbook” with clips of our memory work, and then it was time for the trivia game.

The kids talk smack with their dad for weeks before the game, and the hype is huge. The game is mostly between Dad and Oldest; I referee and give the questions from our flashcards; Middlest is on Oldest’s team and jumps in when she knows an answer.

Dad ended up winning this time, by 4 points. But even this was a great lesson on character rather than just history facts. This kids talked on and on about what fun they had, in spite of Dad’s big win. Especially for my super competitive and perfectionist son, it was great to reflect on how much fun you can even if you aren’t the winner. Plus, it keeps them motivated with their flashcards; Dad is tough competition.

Tapestry Trivia

Another wonderful plus about these little parties is the opportunity we get to bring Dad into our learning. It’s the kids’ opportunity for some show-and-tell, and Dad learns right along with us to be able to keep up with his fierce competitors.

And the most obvious reward is celebrating what the kids have accomplished. All the hard work over the past weeks and months gets recognized.

A few days after our party, a used car commercial came on announcing their end of the year “summer celebration” sale. Middlest lit up immediately, “We had one of those!” Mission accomplished: a year celebrated and a summer begun.

Homeschool Mother's Journal

Preschool Letter and Number Assessments

I like to have official assessments for my kids, even though I often have a very good idea of what they know before we sit down to assess. My main reason for doing them is just to have my kids used to being tested and assessed so that it is never a cause for fear or trepidation when they are older.

So, when the little one wrapped up letter “Z”, I pulled out my fun Chicka Boom Tree assessments and some stampers (like these). The first time I used these assessments with my son, I admit I was at a total loss as to how to use them, and I made the whole ordeal much more complicated than it needed to be. This time, though, I just relaxed and let her tell me what she knew. She chose which letter to do each time, told me the name and sound of the letter, then stamped it before choosing another letter. It went very smoothly.


For the numbers, I once again handed her the stamp and sat back to see what she knew. She found each number in order as she counted, up to twelve and then got stumped. I praised her, put the stamp away, and then we finished counting the numbers together.

Her end-of-the-year preschool accomplishments:

  • She can identify all her letters and sounds for capital and little letters.
  • She can identify her numbers up to 12 and can count to 20 unassisted.
  • She can count to 100 when assisted with the tens (20, 30, 40, etc.—she gets stumped at these transitions).
  • She knows her colors and the names of basic shapes.
  • She has lots of fun memories and can’t wait to start reading.

And if nothing else, that last accomplishment tells me we’ve had a very successful year.